The late John McAfee was a number of issues: a rumored rapist, murderer, and speed-fiend who someway escaped prosecution, but additionally a libertarian cryptocurrency shark dealing with a Securities and Trade Fee complaint and, after all, the founding father of the safety firm bearing his identify. Now, the Daily Beast reviews, he’s additionally secretly alive—within the minds of QAnon conspiracists, anyhow.
McAfee died in a Spanish jail cell on June 23 awaiting extradition to the U.S. on tax costs, apparently of suicide. However McAfee had beforehand insisted that if he had been to be discovered useless of suicide, his supporters ought to know that he was truly assassinated by nefarious events unknown. He even obtained an arm tattoo studying $WHACKD, suggesting his demise could be the results of a hitman. It’s not an enormous soar from believing McAfee was being hunted by Agent 47 to considering he someway slipped the noose by faking his personal demise. So one may say the conspiracy concept that has 130,000+ folks flooding Telegram rooms proclaiming the excellent news of McAfee’s survival, in accordance with the Each day Beast, is his final present to the general public.
McAfee’s Instagram account was being run by different folks whereas he was in jail, and shortly after he went to that huge file quarantine within the sky, a “Q” picture appeared on it. (QAnon, the way forward for the GOP, is a sprawling, loosely organized community of crackpots, anti-Semites, and fascists who consider Donald Trump is secretly combating a secret Underworld-style war towards a cabal of Democratic pedophiles. Quite a few QAnon supporters have dedicated crimes or acts of violence including murder, and so they supplied key manpower through the lethal pro-Trump riots on the Capitol on Jan. 6.) The account was later deleted however has since been changed by three accounts on messaging app Telegram the Each day Beast wrote have “racked up followers by pushing QAnon-like ramblings and offering a countdown clock for revelations that—shockingly—by no means materialized.”
It’s not as if that is someway a stunning improvement. QAnon wackos are keen on theorizing that numerous historic deaths had been truly faked, significantly the late John F. Kennedy Jr., who a lot of them consider remains to be dwelling as a Trump supporter named Vincent Fusca. McAfee was a well-accomplished web troll and little question hoped for rumors about his demise to linger lengthy after he had truly departed this mortal coil, therefore the tat.
One account, titled “I Would Describe Myself As Fairly Sane and Lucid, Which is Why I’m Nonetheless Alive. John McAfee,” launched on July 20 and already has over 125,000 followers. Two others are far smaller however apparently piggybacking off its shtick. Based on the Each day Beast, proof the account has posted for its veracity embrace private paperwork belonging to McAfee corresponding to a scan of his gun license, all of which had beforehand leaked are simply accessible on-line, together with from a bunch of documentary filmmakers making an attempt to promote copies of them as a non-fungible token.
The Telegram channel has additionally posted hyperlinks to a YouTube account filled with drone footage of infamous pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s private island, which conspiracy theorists had beforehand, and with out proof, posited was run by McAfee. Among the channel’s followers have tried to decode garbled segments of its different message, the Each day Beast wrote, asking one another whether or not they knew the right way to entry the “darkish internet” for extra info.
Whereas former McAfee’s lawyer, Andrew Gordon, confirmed that McAfee was useless to the Each day Beast, the account had seen this coming and easily posted rants about how he was to not be trusted.
Not less than just a few different main conspiracy accounts, maybe sensing unwelcome competitors for grifting income, have referred to as out the faux McAfee accounts. Ron Watkins, the previous 8chan administrator extensively rumored to have been behind the QAnon motion, posted to his personal Telegram channel that “The John McAfee telegram account didn’t [sic] announce something on the finish of the countdown. Not one of the alleged 31 terabytes of deadman’s swap information has materialized. Now his account is posting Q-style drops and signing them as McAfee. Watch out.” For the document, Watkins has frantically distanced himself from QAnon and tried to rebrand as a ufologist.
After Trump didn’t throw a coup d’etat both instantly following the November 2020 elections or earlier than Joe Biden was inaugurated in January, the QAnon motion has been down and dispirited however removed from out.
In June, the FBI warned members of Congress that remaining members of the motion are extra excessive than ever and will tire of being “digital troopers,” and as a substitute dedicate their seemingly inexhaustible vitality to violent assaults reasonably than “frequently awaiting Q’s promised actions which haven’t occurred.” According to NBC News, QAnon adherents who watched members of the motion principally fail to win elections in 2020 are actually focusing on local races like school boards and metropolis councils. A lot of main QAnon accounts have tried to ditch the bags related to the label by insisting the QAnon motion referred to by the media does not exist, publicly disavowing any connection to the motion whereas altering nothing else about their rhetoric.